What to do when Christmas loses its sense of Wonder

By Alexandra Khan | 16 November 2015

Advent Wonder 2015 by Stewardship


“We’re not doing presents for adults this year,” my mother said in passing, the other day.

“Yeah, well there are so many children in the wider family it’s no wonder…”

She cut me off: “No, I mean, within our family. Just us. We’ve decided not to do it this year.”

I’ll admit, it put me in a sulk. I’ve had a crammed stocking on Christmas morning ever since I can remember; I’m nearly thirty, and to be honest it was a trend I’d expected would continue for two more decades at least. My mother, however, had other ideas.

“Perhaps we’ll do a Secret Santa instead.”

I can’t stand Secret Santa. It’s not that I’m a Scrooge, and it’s not that I don’t like giving anonymously. I can’t put my finger on it – it just feels inherently wrong.

So I quietly railed for a while about how it won’t feel like Christmas, and how it would be strange to wake up to a bare Christmas tree, and how generally glum and bah humbug I felt about it all.

Yes, I know, there are worthier things to concern myself with (the Starbucks red cup is not one of them, Internet). Yes, I’m statistically one of the richest people in the world. Yes, it’s a blessing to be able to celebrate the birth of Christ openly at all. Yes, yes, yes.

I knew all those things, and yet in that moment of startling honesty I realised in my selfish reaction that, for me, Christmas had (in part, at least) become that tired cliché – ‘all about the presents’.

I scolded myself, told myself I should have known better, and then handed myself some grace. After all, we’re bombarded. There’s no two ways about it: as soon as September arrives we’re hit with Christmas adverts squarely between the eyes. BUY THIS, it all says, IT WILL PRODUCE HAPPY SMILES. And we’ve bought it – the product and the lie. And so we wonder where the Wonder of Christmas has gone.

Advent Wonder , the free email series from Stewardship, is back for its third year this December. It asks nothing of you, except for a few minutes at the start and end of each week just to reflect on what it all means, lest we forget.

If you’re already stressed out by your to-do list.

If you’ve mentally allocated your next paycheck before it has even arrived.

If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by the barrage of TV ads.

Well then, we invite you – I invite you – to join with me as we journey back to the heart of Christmas again. In the midst of the consumerist hum, create some space to ponder the present that we all received undeservedly.

Whether you join us as a family or in your quiet time, we look forward to helping you to reconnect with the generous message of the Christmas story this Advent.

Sign up for Advent Wonder 2015 here: www.stewardship.org.uk/advent


Read more like this:

WATCH: the Advent Wonder 2015 film

2 new resources to help you grow a generous church

10 generous things to do with your kids this Christmas

 

Posted by Alexandra Khan

Alexandra is a digital marketing executive for Stewardship. Originally trained in music, she went on to spend a few years in the videogames industry before making the leap to the NFP sector. Follow her on Twitter: @alxkhn

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